Jorge Posada is a Yankees icon. His fiery and stubborn personality is well known, and he is hated by Red Sox nation. Jorge has expectations to win every day, to play every day, and to call the games the way he wants to. A pitcher has to be strong to nod him off. Posada is a team leader in every sense of the word: he plays hurt, is outspoken and highly opinionated, leads by example, takes responsibilty, and always makes the plays.
He was never the best defense catcher, nor did he ever develop a “reputation” of “calling good games” (after all, Mike Mussina, Randy Johnosn, and David Cone preferred other catchers) but all of that is debatable. What is not debatable is that he has consistently shown that he is the Yankees MVP and without him in the lineup, the Yanks stink.
So why are even Yankees fans giving him some backlash recently?
This is a totally MEDIA-driven trend that had some seeds planted previously, but the straw broke the camel’s back when Jorge and Joba Chamberlain kept disagreeing on pitch selection during Joba’s latest mockery of a start.
Mets announcers Gary Cohen, Ron Darling, and Keith Hernandez ripped both men, while in the Yankees announcing booth, Michael Kay played skeptic again.
New York newspapers reported all of this, and then message boards were on fire. It was brought up on ESPN radio (with Kay), and the mainstream MEDIA now is focused on pitcher’s ERA’s when Jorge catches, critiquing his pitch selection, bringing up his argument with El Duque from years ago, and pushing cult favorite Francisco Cervelli to be the catcher.
So let’s kinda step through a sequence of events and see how “Jorge Posada sucks” has become kinda accepted by the masses:
1) A long, long time ago in an era far, far away, manager Joe Torre chose Joe Girardi over Jorge Posada to start based on Girardi’s game calling experience and defense even though Jorge was the better hitter. This is kinda part of Yankees lore, especially since Jorge would have had a obvious Hall of Fame career if he had played those years as starting catcher.
2) Jorge’s aggressive temper became well known, as was his desire to keep things simple for a pitcher: fastball, slider or whatever the pitcher’s two best pitchers were. His mentality is go after the hitters straight on with your best stuff and stop trying to paint corners or get fancy with other pitches until you need to.
3) Personal catchers- a few Yanks didn’t like Jorge’s style. YES announcer John Flaherty once admitted how catchers DO take it personally when a pitcher on the staff requests a personal catcher. Ironically enough John was Randy Johnson’s personal catcher on the Yanks for a time, since Randy and Jorge were not on the same page. One major problem with the personal catcher situation is that the backup catcher cannot hit like Jorge, and the team is stuck with an automatic out in the post-season.
4) Success breeds envy. People are jealous of Jorge and envious of the Yankees. Since Jorge has been with the team for years, it is easier for the MEDIA to get a picture of his life, and how he interacts with his teammates and take shots at him than say, Pudge Rodriguez, who moves from team to team, and lives on his rep.
5) The contract. Jorge and Brian Cashman had ugly contract negotiations. Many observers felt Jorge’s new contract was too long for an older catcher. (Most catchers have retired or move to another position by age 37.)
6) The injury. Jorge’s season was wiped out last year, we lost, and then he got hurt this year. Many people feel he needs more days off, but doesn’t want to sit. While he was away, Jose Molina was great with throwing runners out while Jorge was giving up stolen bases. This year, the Yanks brought up Fransisco Cervelli who has a great personality and has been embraced by every announcer, the newspapers, and he has received ringing endorsements from A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia.
7) Joba. Joba, Joba, Joba. The only kid in the world with the GUTS to shake Jorge off and will do what he wants to do. I wonder if Joba remembers Jorge saying he should be a relief pitcher. Anyway, the fact is neither player spoke to the MEDIA about if there are any real frustrations or friction between them. However, the cameras were focused on them stalling and trying to get on the same page after Joba shook him off. I saw a close-up of Joba shaking his head in disbelief in the dugout, and he seemed to be ranting about something to another player. The bottom line is as long as Joba struggles while Jorge catches him, the more people will rip Jorge.
In conclusion, generally speaking a good pitcher should be good whoever the freakin’ catcher is. What’s up, A.J.? Too laid back for Jorge getting in your face when you can’t focus? You like the young kid Cervelli’s youthful enthusiasm and open-mindedness? Whatever, dude. Just pitch.
- Jorge Posada Speaks Out About 2011 Yankees DH
- Jorge Posada attacks Pudge Rodriguez and Joba
- Jorge Posada sticks by Roger Clemens
- 2011 Cashman Reveals Jorge Posada DH, Joba Chamberlain Bullpen
- Phil Hughes, Robinson Cano Destroy Orioles
- Rays Burn A.J. Burnett; Jorge Posada DL; Marcus Thames Hurt
- Jorge Posada Hall of Fame? 10 Reasons Why He Should Be Elected
- Jorge Posada Interview After He Asked to be Taken Out of Game
- The 2012 Yankees Catching Problem
- Game 40: Rays beat Mariano Rivera
- John Flaherty YES Network announcer
- Aceves, Hideki, Jeter, Jorge bail out Joba
- Nate Silver Predicts Yankees Collapse
- Brian Cashman: No C.C. Sabathia AND Mark Teixeira
- Robinson Cano Walk-Off HR in 10th
- Our Savior Has Returned: Andy Pettitte is God
- Yankees message board trends
- Yanks Crush Red Sox 14-3; Teixeira 3 Homeruns
- 2009-2010 Yankees Free Agents
- Angry CC Sabathia Goes 8 Innings; Randy Winn HR Sinks Orioles